Day 2 started at 03:30 local time, so I got about 5-5.5 hours sleep. After doing a bit of work on the computer I went for a swim at the beach. I would like to say I was very brave and marched in, but I got to waist level and gave up. It wasn’t so much that the water was cold. It was more than the wind was so strong I was freezing to death before I got to the water. Bjoern and Connor were made of sterner stuff and stayed in. I wrapped myself in a bunch of towels and paddled. Once I was covered up I realised the water was not so bad, so I actually got back in. It wasn’t so much a swim, as jumping up and down trying not to get drowned by the waves.
The second day of the conference started for me with Connor‘s session on 12c for developers. It was a fast paced pass over a whole bunch of features that don’t necessarily make the headlines. There’s so much stuff in Oracle 12c I found myself thinking, I really need to write and article on that, only to remember I’ve already done it. It’s going to take a long time for this to become a natural part of my toolset.
Next up was Penny Cookson talking about the optimizer, focussing on the traps people fall into when they forget the optimizer sometimes has to make assumptions or guesses. Amongst other things, this included cases where histograms help and where they don’t. Where extended statistics help and where they don’t. Where cardinality (statistics) feedback helps and it doesn’t. Penny always uses a specific example or metaphor to explain her case. In this case is was OHarmonry (eHarmony in UK & USA) and all about finding the perfect man. Very amusing.
After lunch it was back-to-back sessions for me. I think they went OK, but I was very tired so it was really hard to get psyched up for them. A couple of times I felt like I was really straining to speak without slurring my words. I always say I am nervous before every talk. I was too tired to be nervous before these, which is not a good thing. It’s quite hard to be objective about your own performance. I felt kind-of hyper in yesterday’s sessions, which made today feel comparatively flat. I hope they didn’t come across that way. Four sessions and a 5 minute contribution to a keynote in two days while sleep deprived is not optimal, but you gotta get the job done.
After my sessions I went to watch Penny Cookson and Scott Wesley speaking about presentation skills. Every bit of advice you can get helps…
The last session of the day was Connor McDonald speaking about hardware options for Oracle DBAs. Over the years you come across a lot of information, but it’s really nice when someone breaks it down into really simple terms and puts it all together so you get hit with it in one go. It kind-of crystallises in your mind. As is normal for Connor, it was a fast paced session, which was what I needed for the last session of the day. If I had sat in a sedate session I would have fallen asleep…
After a quick wrap-up, we headed down to the bar and sat speaking to the AUSOUG and SAGE Computing Services folks. After that we popped out to get some food, then Connor gave Bjoern and myself a lift to the airport.
It’s now 00:30 local time as I write this and in about an hour we board a 5 hour flight for Singapore, then a 5 hour flight to Shanghai. I’m going to be a right mess by the time I get there!
Thanks to all the folks in Perth for inviting us along and making sure everything went smoothly. Thanks also to Connor for being our chauffeur.